Danielle Misterka
CCBC 2016 Graduate
President’s Distinguished Graduate Award recipient

“If you would have asked me five years ago if I would be considering graduating from college, I would have said ‘no way.’ Life hasn’t been easy, but I still came out on top.”
Misterka is a first-generation college student. Having grown up under challenging financial circumstances, college was not a priority. She started working immediately following high school to contribute to the family finances.

“Although I dreamed of college, I felt selfish to ask my parents to help me pursue my dreams,” explained Misterka. “It was a struggle just to survive from day to day.”

But, that didn’t deter her efforts. She enrolled at CCBC twice but was unable to successfully earn a degree. The first time she had to drop out abruptly due to lack of support. The second time her life took a difficult turn when her son was diagnosed with Autism. Misterka put her life on hold to put all her efforts into caring for her son.

But, the third time was a charm. Misterka enrolled in CCBC, found her footing and excelled in her classes. She joined the Honors program and got involved in campus life. Even despite the challenges that continued to come her way, this time she had the strength and the support-system to complete her goal of earning a college degree.

“If you would have asked me five years ago if I would be considering graduating from college, I would have said ‘no way.’ Life hasn’t been easy, but I still came out on top.”

Today Danielle describes herself as a mother, wife, advocate, fighter, nurturer and survivor. She is also happy to add one more descriptor to her list….. CCBC graduate.

Following graduation, Misterka plans to attend UMBC in the fall. She received the Presidential Transfer Award – a two-year scholarship – and plans to major in neuroscience and minor in social work.
2016 President’s Distinguished Graduate Award recipient, Danielle Misterka